By Kevin Woodhouse
West Island residents are well aware of the recent cuts affecting Canada Post with the recent closure of post offices in Pointe Claire Village and Ste. Anne de Bellevue. According reports last week, Canada Post plans to drop door to door delivery service for numerous West Island municipalities starting in 2015.
The report noted that door to door service will be replaced by community mailboxes for such cities and boroughs as Pointe Claire, Kirkland, Dollard des Ormeaux and Lachine. The Suburban contacted Canada Post for a statement but did not receive calls by press time.
Lac St. Louis MP Francis Scarpaleggia spoke in the House of Commons about Canada Post last January when cuts to services were announced.
Scarpaleggia said that Canada Post’s services “are essential services. Because this is an essential service, it is structured like a crown corporation and not like a private company that is not accountable to the Government of Canada.
“As a crown corporation—or quasi-governmental organization, if you would prefer — the Canada Post Corporation is required to consult before making a major policy change. It apparently conducted consultations before it decided to stop home mail delivery,” said Scarpaleggia at the time.
The Suburban spoke to Scarpaleggia who believes that “Canada Post has not made a case for the changes it wants to impose on Canadians.”
The Lac St. Louis MP also noted that due to Quebec’s, and the West Island’s rapidly aging population, “switching from door to door service to community mailboxes will be a major inconvenience, especially in our harsh winters and my concern is some seniors will injure themselves by simply trying to get to the mail.
In the House of Commons, Scarpaleggia spoke about a couple within the riding where “both members had multiple sclerosis. The community mailbox was on a little island across from their house. They had serious problems getting their mail. First of all, the mailbox was too high. Second, the box itself was too deep, so they could not reach all the way to the back to get all of their mail. Canada Post was contacted, and a comedy of errors ensued. In the end, the lock was changed, and this person could no longer get mail at all.”
Scarpaleggia maintains that the crown corporation “hasn’t shown an ability to adapt to the new realities of the 21st century. Canada Post needs to look at more creative alternatives before wiping out home delivery.”
The Lac St. Louis MP suggested that in lieu of abandoning door to door service completely, scale back home delivery to twice or three times a week.
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